Objective: To examine associations between aboriginal enculturation, Canadian acculturation, and alcohol problems among aboriginal university students living in an urban area in Canada.
Methods: Data for this mixed methods study were collected through in-person surveys with a convenience sample of aboriginal university students (n = 60) in 2008/2009.
Results: Students evidenced high levels of aboriginal enculturation and Canadian acculturation. aboriginal enculturation was significantly associated with reduced alcohol problems for aboriginal university students. There was no association between Canadian acculturation and alcohol problems. Qualitative findings suggest aboriginal cultural practices helped students cope with problems in their daily lives and provided them with both personal and social rewards.
Conclusions: This study found aboriginal enculturation was significantly associated with reduced alcohol problems among aboriginal university students. Results support the growth of programs and services that encourage aboriginal students to maintain their cultural identity within the university setting.